Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm sure it comes as no surprise when I admit that… I haven't really been big on holidays. Nothing good has come from them, for me, in a long time. Growing up with divorced parents, my holidays were always spent splitting my time equally among all parties, never really feeling quite settled in one place or another. Since then, they've been mediocre at best and if they were uneventful, they were considered a success. Then a couple years ago, my Dad died on Easter. The Christmas that followed was my worst to date and it's pretty much after this sequence of events that I wrote off all holidays and their ensuing celebrations, for good.

BAH! …humbug.

I had just contented myself to my supreme cynicism regarding the holidays when… Miss Maci Mae Mo was born. With her comes the chance to reinvent the holidays and once again, experience them through the innocent eyes of a child. Color me sappy but after experiencing the following…

Maci's "Baby's First Christmas 2011" ornament hanging adjacent to mine (circa 1982)…

an empty hook awaiting Maci's stocking from Grandma Miller…

Maci's successful introduction to the jolly big guy…

a Polar Express reading from father to daughter…

…something Grinch-esque has happened to me.

I've realized we're not only experiencing holidays anymore but Shawn and I are creating traditions. We're composing annual events that Maci will grow to love. Therefore I'm bound and determined to adjust my holiday attitude and soak up all the firsts this season brings for me and my family of five. The squirt may still be a little too young to really understand what's going on, but if nothing more, for now, she can just enjoy the simplicity of a few extra twinkly lights.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Tradition

Guess what we did last weekend…

No, that's not a saw in Shawn's one hand…
…and our daughter in the other.

The DeBoer family Christmas tree.
(Yes, those are plastic bags over our shoes.)

Our little Eskimo.

And we didn't have to borrow a vehicle this year!

Us girls. Recovering.

Monday, December 5, 2011


My Norman.

He turned six years old yesterday. 42 to those in the four-legged world.

I remember the day we got him like it was yesterday. We headed south of the cities to "take a look at" some basset puppies we'd read about in a newspaper ad. When we got there, two female, rowdy, hyper, jumping, barking, biting bassets sat awaiting our attention. We were less then thrilled and admitted to the breeder we were looking more for a male but we thanked her for letting us take a look anyway. Before we turned to leave, she mentioned she did have a male puppy… in the back.

Out she brought him. An all brown, lazy, dopey, brown-eyed, crooked-legged, low-ridin', long-eared, beautiful basset boy. He was exactly what we were looking for! We saw him, we fell in love, we paid a discounted price for him and took him home with us. He sat on my lap in the bitchin' Beretta the whole way home, quietly whining and looking a bit sheepish. On the drive, he came to be known as Norman; named after the cow in City Slickers. To this day, he remains the only impulsive thing Shawn and I have ever done.

While he tests our patience with his barking and his ever-present goober, Norman truly is a sweet, loving, good-natured, dopey old soul. He loves to sniff up and kiss on Miss Mae and she can't get enough of watching our gentle giants. If Norman had his way, he would eat peanut butter and cheese every single day whilst laying butt-to-butt with his buddy Leo in front on our fireplace. He does not like to be outside because he does not like to be cold and really, he just likes to be where we are. Going for a walk is the highlight of his life, although he generally peters out pretty quickly. His face is going prematurely white and his leg is as crooked as ever. He has a fear of wires, plastic bags, vacuums, brooms and pretty much anything else with a handle. He favorite spot to be rubbed is right between his two front legs, which is coincidentally right where his patch of naturally white hair resides. His reputation precedes him on Ruggles Street and thank goodness because he has managed to escape a couple times. Each time he meandered two houses down and thankfully, was easily coerced and returned by Mr. Tim. He is not the brightest light in the harbor, not by a long stretch, but he remains the cutest dog I've ever seen.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Through 18 weeks of research, I've drawn the conclusion that there are two types of baby stories: the told and slightly over-embellished stories and their wicked step-siblings, the untold and full of shame stories.

The former are most common. Parents regale everyone who will listen with their blissful baby blah, blah, blahs. They paint pictures of love at first sight, utter peace, beautiful bonding, family fun, rediscovered simplicity, cuddling, gazing, oohing and aahing over cooing and yawning until they and their audience are in a gumdrops-and-lollipops-trance where they can virtually feel the fuzzy feet of newborn sleepers and smell the wafting aroma of Johnson's Baby Bedtime Lotion.

The problem is, these stories don't paint the whole picture. There are the other stories.

The untold stories are a rare breed. Almost elusive if even existent at all. They are the dirty little secret stories new parents neglect to tell for fear of judgement, ridicule, backlash or just plain guilt. It's the absence of these stories that, I believe, leads to an unrealistic expectation of what parenthood is really like or at the very least, has the potential to be like. When they're left out, parents don't know the full gamut of what their about to experience.

Now, I'm no better. I tell all the fabulously fuzzy stories too. I could spend countless hours revealing all the wonderful that has come along with bringing a person into this world. My love has no limits and my stories exemplifying this don't either. However, let it now be known that I have a full arsenal of the untold stories as well and I feel it's about time these get to join the new parent story hour. It's about time people share the realities of parenthood. Here's a baker's dozen, no-holds-bar, list of revelations to get the ball rolling:

1. Maci peed on my side of the bed like five days ago. Since then I have placed a receiving blanket between my sheets and the mattress so as to avoid it actually soaking in to the mattress. I have yet to remove and/or wash the sheets. Urine is sterile right?

2. I now know why my sister is always brushing her teeth in the shower. If I don't take my toothbrush into the shower, most likely I will forget to or will run out of time to brush my teeth. I didn't brush them this morning and in fact, I don't believe I brushed them last night either.

3. My daughter has spit up on me almost every single time she has ate in the past two weeks. Not just some spit up, gobs full of slimy, milky, curdled spit up. And if it misses me and hits the floor, the dogs lick it up.

4. I have woke up some mornings to Maci's diaper being changed and have absolutely no recollection of changing it. I often can't remember if I've fed her or remember laying her back down. The worst is when I'm dreaming that I am holding her while I'm sleeping and I wake up terrified that I'm suffocating her when in fact, I'm suffocating my pillow.

5. I have yelled at, swore at, tried to rationalize with and been all-around frustrated with Maci. I always love her, but sometimes, I don't like her. And actually it's not that I don't like her either. I always like her, but sometimes, I don't like the way she is acting. There is a reason she is cute and there is a reason some species eat their young. I get it now. Trying to help something completely helpless without them being able to communicate what they need help with is like trying to survive in a foreign country when you can't speak the language. To that end, both Shawn and I have reached the point of lovingly placing Maci in her crib and removing ourselves from her for the sake of her life and our sanity. Shawn went into the other room and did some push ups. I went into the back bedroom and sobbed into a pillow. To each their own and to all there is no harm or wrong in doing this. You are 100% completely normal if you get angry at a situation concerning your crying baby. Don't go to where the guilt it. Expect it, know that it's your circumstances that are making you feel this way, that it will pass and that you love your baby no less for the duration of the incident. This does not make you a bad person or a bad parent.

6. I have absolutely no idea what I was going to type here. I had the above number separated into two points and then I combined them to make room for this one and now, two minutes later and after an interruption from Shawn and Maci, it's gone. It might of had something to do with letting Maci sleep in her car seat at night because she had a cold and wouldn't cough so much sitting upright? Yeah, I'm not certain, but I'll go with that.

7. Shawn and I no longer eat together. We try, but usually, we fail. We also generally can't watch a movie together either. We tried that too and I think it took us literally all day to watch an hour and a half movie in 15 minute intervals while trying to get Maci to nap.

8. Napping. *&$#! Bree, my daycare provider, can get Maci to nap for two to three hours at a time. She will nap no longer then 45 minutes for me. It's getting better but there's nothing that will make you feel more like a failure as a parent then when a stranger can get your child to do something you can't. I know, I know. It's because she wants to be with us and see us and spend time with us but she also needs to sleep. She is like her Mom. We are bee-atches when we don't sleep.

9. This is going to be TMI so if you'd rather not get personal, skip to the next number. If you are a new father, don't expect to have sex again for a year. Yes, an entire year. It may happen before that but this way your expectations will be much more in line with reality and you won't be nearly as disappointed.

10. Never, ever try to have a rationale conversation at 3am. Call each other those explicit names, get it out of your system, don't take it personal, go to sleep and then have a conversation in the morning. It is perfectly normal to feel like you are always fighting with your spouse. With such stress and such little sleep, it's the perfect storm.

11. I haven't yet but Shawn has gone to the bathroom while holding Maci. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

12. I have hovered over my daughter for what feels like hours at a time. They put the fear of God and SIDS into you when you leave the hospital so much so that you literally think your baby will stop breathing if you are not there to witness it. It's sorta like the tree falling in the woods theory. It's still my number one fear and I'm still constantly checking and rechecking Maci and trying to sort out every irrational fear I have, but it is getting better. She is in her crib, in the other room and we no longer use the monitor. So far, it's been like heaven at night not to have to hear her every move and breath. It will seem impossible, trust me, I know, but turn the monitor off. Just do it during the day first. Then one night a week. Then maybe two. Work your way into it.

13. I have forgot to buckle Maci into her car seat not once, but twice, before driving somewhere. She survived and was frankly none-the-wiser.


I have a new found respect for single mothers. I honest to goodness don't know how they do it. I don't know how my sister did it with multiple kids and multiple dogs while going to school. I always thought she was crazy and now I know I was right. And I mean that in the best way possible.

Sara always says that although Sex and the City 2 was basically a horrible creation void of anything meaningful, and I agree, they did do one scene justice:

Now I'm not going to go through the ritual of telling you all the good stories I have that cancel out these so-called bad stories. You know, the good stories that make it all worth it. I know how I feel about Maci and my family and I don't feel the need to justify that to anyone. Further more, if you have any doubts as to how I feel about her or them, or feel compelled to express your opinion about the matter, come find me and we'll sit down and have a nice face-to-face chat. I'm pretty sure I know how that would go.

I also encourage you, if you're a new parent, to comment and reveal one of your untold stories. Let us keep the conversation going so as to avoid surprises and the ensuing guilt for future parents to be. Let's tell the whole story of what it truly means to be a new parent.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


My 30th birthday looms.

*pause for reaction*

I don't know if it's because I'm approaching a milestone or because I'm a new mother or because I have a new job or because I'm weaning myself off some meds or because I'm completely devoid of sleep, but I have been doing a TON of self-reflecting lately. A ton. Constantly. All the time. It's exhausting but in the same breath, enlightening. I would like to think this cheese doesn't stand alone and that a) I actually have readers and b) they are intellectual people with great minds and opinions of their own. So to that end, I say spill. What's been on your mind lately? Any great life lessons? Any self-awareness arising? Any advice you'd like to bestow upon me? Any happy happenings you've had? Tell me the greatest things you learned by the time you were 30. If you're not 30, then 20. If you're not 20, well then, go do your homework.

And add yourself as a follower while you're at it because in all my reflecting, I realized I need constant validation. Yes, it's in my "flaws" column. But I'll get to more about all my reflections later. Right now, let's talk about you. Come on… you know you wanna comment. And maybe add yourself as a follower. No? What if I bribe you with a photo of Maci Mae…

No? How about Maci sucking her thumb?

Still nothing? Maci in a frog towel?

You haven't commented or added yourself as a follower yet? Wow. You're heartless. Okay. All I have left is the obligatory father / daughter schnoozing photo. If that doesn't persuade you nothing will.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm a middle child. I don't really believe in baby books. What does one have to do with the other? Well, when you're a middle child, you don't get a baby book. Your parents spend all their time, energy and money on the first born and as runner-up, the nostalgia of chronicling your every single move wears off. Therefore the idea of a baby book for the second born is a lost cause. I'm not bitter. I'm actually totally cool about it. One less thing I feel I have to do. Hell, Shawn is the sixth kid in his family so he knows how I feel, two-fold. This might sound cold-hearted, disconnected or jaded but I don't mean it to. Maci Mae's life is being recorded sufficiently with the technology of today. There's the zillion photos we take, the videos we record, the scrapbook my BFF is doing, our good ol' fashioned memories and of course, this here blog. To that end, here is an update on the squirt…

Maci Mae will be 15 weeks on Saturday. She has added heft and lost hair. She sports a mean mohawk these days. I wish the remains of her hair would hurry up and fall out so we can see what it will look like when it grows back. Red-head? Blonde, perhaps? Curly, straight… time will tell. Generally, Maci is a very happy baby but can unravel quick if tired. Unravel is actually a bit of an understatement. She can downright lose her mind if she's due for a nap. She takes after her Mama. She can also slide down the slippery slope of sadness if she's hungry. Again, this is after her Mama. I'm really hoping someday down the road I can rattle off some good things she gets from me. It's not looking promising.

Now, the single most important thing you need to know about Maci, aside from the fact that we think she is the single most adorable baby ever, is that she loves white noise. LOVES. Water running, the vacuum, hairdryers, fans and most of all, the exhaust hood above the stove. Shawn figured this out one day and it has been a saving grace ever since. It must quiet the voices inside her head or something because she doesn't utter a peep when she's under the trance. It's peaceful and it's amazing. It's really our only hope when she's inconsolable.

We've developed some quirky, albeit fitting, nicknames for the wee one as well. Shawn calls her peanut butter. I don't know where it came from but he also sings her a little diddy that goes something like… "peanut-butter-peanut-butter-peanut-butter, jelly." Don't ask me. I don't know. I call her Maci, fly-catcher, DeBoer. It's her Indian name. The girl has her mouth open, wide open, at all times. At daycare, she is known as Maci Mae Mo. This came about when Bree, best-daycare-lady-EVER, was reading The Help. Of course she started calling her this before I had read the novel and I was like, what the hell? After I started the page-turner, I completely understood. Sidenote: Read this book. It's amazing.

What else? Right now, she is a drooling fool. She always has her hands together and generally, they're both in her mouth. So much so that she usually gags herself at least a dozen times a day. She babbles and most recently is holding her sounds out a lot longer. She is moving constantly and kicking like crazy. I see a swimmer or gymnast or soccer player in our future. She's not the greatest fan of being on her belly but she'll withstand it if she's on the Boppy and has something to look at. Speaking of which, she no longer wants to lay down when you hold her. She wants to sit up and out, like the queen that she is, so she can see the world. Or herself. She gets a kick out of looking in the mirror. When she spots herself, one side of her mouth points up in a shitty, sly smile that speaks of trouble to come! She's also back to sleeping like a champ at night. Shawn puts her in what he calls, the sleep trap, and she's generally out in less then five minutes. After she fought and won the battle against her first cold, and spent a weekend sleeping in her car seat in her crib, our faith in her sleeping through the night was restored. She's taken to the Nuk like a fish to water and speaking of water, she's right at home in the shower. We forgo baths and just take showers with her which seems to be a hell of a lot easier for all parties involved.

I'm guessing we're going to have a roller in our very near future and maybe, hopefully, a giggler. Time will tell and I got nothing but when it comes to this one…

Monday, October 24, 2011


I have a problem. I'm having a hard time deciphering what has to get done, what I want to get done and what absolutely can and will wait to get done. Seems easy eh? Well, take a step into the reality that is my brain. Be warned it is an anxiety-ridden environment with OCD walls, control-freak carpet and a disco ball that reflects every single one of my neurosis. It's a scary place. On second thought, step back out before you get sucked into the vortex of post-it reminders, Gmail tasks lists and budget Excel files.

I know what you're thinking. F*ck it all. Take time for yourself and spend time with your family genius. That's all that matter. Nothing is more important than the moments with your daughter, your husband, your dogs.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
-Ferris Bueller

I get it. I really, truly do. Painfully so. But is this practical? My backwards brain beckons all too quick and pushes this common sense so far from my mind it gets blurry. The lines in the sand diminish and I inevitably revert back to trying to tackle it all. This leads me to nothing but feeling like I'm doing everything half ass. Everything half way because I'm always preoccupied with the next thing. The last thing I can squeeze in or get done before I turn in for the night. This viscous circle of a mind game is exhausting.

Dishes overflow from our counter, a tuna-stench fills the dishwasher, laundry overtakes ours and Maci's bedroom floor, the bare shelves of our pantry and fridge mock me and my ever-empty wallet, the dogs literally jump out of their skins they need a walk so bad, my bank account begs me to clip coupons, my fat rolls urge me to exercise, Shawn's work steals him for a Saturday, unfinished projects linger around every turn, winter house prepping is knocking, my dependent reimbursement plan still needs to be worked out, not to mention finding extra life insurance and creating a will now that we have a dependent, speaking of the squirt – she needs a Halloween costume, clothes need to be ironed, diapers washed, pumpkins carved or decorated, leaves raked, sofa steamed, trim painted, curtains hung, mortgage refinanced. Oh yeah and I need to remember to take time to hug my husband, cherish my child and pet the pooches. And this is all after my Mom and Grandma came for a Saturday and cleaned my entire house.

I can hear Shawn say: "Big picture. Focus on the good things and stop stressing about everything else." Stop expecting perfection. Okay. *poof* I'm cured. Except if that were the case, I would've given up Celexa a long time ago and I'd be able to live and dwell in a house with toys strewn about the floor, dishes the counter, work the table, newspapers the buffet, books the shelves, laundry the rooms, bark collars the door knobs and dogs dishes wherever they have pushed them this particular day. A messy house makes me feel claustrophobic the same way a ton of sh*t to do makes my brain feel nuts. I have to somehow learn to live with both these messes, literally and figuratively. I have to throw away my motto: a place for everything and everything in it's place. I have to learn to accept that I cannot get everything done. Our house will be a mess, the bills might not get paid and groceries might have to give way to fast food once in a while. Additionally, I then have to learn how to do it all without it making me feel like I'm suffocating so that I can stay present and enjoy that beloved time with my family. I need a steal trap inserted into this brain of mine where I can dump the "garbage" so it no longer poses a threat to my family, my well-being and my happiness.

Now, the real question. Where might one get such a trap?

Monday, October 17, 2011


Guess what Team DeBoer did yesterday? That's right, we visited our very first pumpkin patch. Here is our adventure… in pictures.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


A couple weekends ago, Miss Maci Mae got to see what Grandpa sees. His sacred hunting grounds and his final resting place. The sun poked from the separating clouds just as we arrived at one of his spots. It was as if he wanted to give us a sure fire sign that he was indeed there with us. It was peaceful, it was sad, it was long overdue, it was natural and it was indescribable. It was more for me then Maci, but someday she'll understand and she'll know she has and always can visit him. I can always visit him. He's always with us. I can close my eyes and see him. His eyes are alive and he's smiling.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Have no fear my 54 faithful followers, I will blog on! It's just the look of this ole blog that will be a changin'.

As a graphic designer, I thought it about time I spruce things up a bit and do a little customization to make things look my own. That being said, this will not be a quick process. With a husband, newborn, job, dogs, house and sleeping to attend to, I'll have to squeak in some design time here and there. Unfortunately that means you'll have to make due with the plain white background for now. Think of it has my modern, minimalist look.

I have plenty coming your way in the form of photos, rants, questions, projects and deep thoughts. Well, as deep as this zombie-of-a-mom can really get these days…

Friday, September 30, 2011


People have been mispronouncing my name every day for the last 29 years. I get Callie, as in California, FAR more then I get Kali, as in Kaylee. I blame my parents. Obviously phonetics weren't taken into consideration at 4:57 a.m. on March 22, 1982. Unfortunately, it's me who's been paying the toll ever since. Part of me feels rude when I have to correct people. Then again, part of me feels it's rude when someone doesn't call me by the right name. Most can't help it. They're strangers, what do they care? It's the ones who see me daily that slay me. Or the ones with the memory similar to the life span of a fruit fly. They're my favorite. They're the ones I TELL my name to in a conversation and they repeat it back to me at the end of said conversation, only to say it wrong. Here's a tip: if you can't remember what I told you five seconds ago, and being a new mom believe me I can understand, then just don't try!

I have to say, though, that my all time favorite name memory was the day I graduated college. They were announcing the summa cum laude recipients (thank you, thank you) so they could stand and be recognized by the audience. Seconds after the announcer said "Callie Miller" my Mom, one of the more vocal people of the world, shouts, "Iiiiiiiittttttttt'ssssssssss Kaaaaaaaaaaaayleeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!" We're in a giant dome mind you. Thousands of people in ear shot. You would've thought she had a megaphone it was that loud. I just had to laugh.

Now before I was married, I could count on everyone at least getting my last name right. Really. You can't f*ck up Miller. Now that I'm a DeBoer however, as in DeeBoar, it's hopeless. "Callie Debower?" Ummm… nope. "Kylie Devore?" Try again. "Katie Debber?"Shoot me now.

Needless to say, I hold the phonetical spelling of a name very close to my heart. The day Maci was born though, I figured we picked a name where you really can't go wrong with how it's pronounced. It's a giant store for crying out loud. Everyone knows Macy's right? The giant red star? The Thanksgiving day parade? Apparently not without the "y" they don't. So yeah, the other day, I got a voice message on my cell phone from our pediatrician's office saying, "…and we're calling to confirm the appointment for Macki…" as in Mackee. WTF? Seriously? Thank God they didn't try and say her last name. I might have gotten out my megaphone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Brace yourself, the following is a photo dump…

Bear hug for the Pops
Little baby in a biiiiiiiig car seat
A fish outta water
"Umm… excuse me…"
Who says a girl can't wear dino PJs!
The affects of Mama's milk
Smoochin some chubby cheeks
"Loud noises!"
"I got my eye on you."
Nothin cuter then a baby yawn
If she aint got the Nuk, she's got the thumb
The first cloth diaper!
Whoa… the white balance is a wee off
Happy baby
Still happy baby
Flexin her muscles
One of the last nights she slept in the Pack n' Play
Maci's Running Man
Sportin her spare chin
Snoozin in her swing
"Dad? Should we be ghosts for Halloween?"
She represents the Lollipop Guild
The sly smile
Pre shots – happy as a clam
Post shots – band aids over the battle wounds
Dirt sleeves!
Fist bumps for Uncle Ty


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